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Archive for December, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

img_4990-copy.jpg“Praise God from whom all blessing flow. Praise Him all creatures here below.” These are important words to our family and we eagerly accept our responsibility to give God credit for all the wonderful things He has given us this year. We love life and family and all our duties which we perform before God.

The big news here is the upcoming move. After ten years as principal of the school we both grew up in (we met in second grade and then started dating the week after Ryan was offered this job), the Boomershines will be packing up and heading to Nashville, TN in June. No, we are not joining a band there, but we have been asked to come help build the now-forming Jonathan Edwards Classical Academy (you can Google the school name for more info). We are committed to some pretty lofty ideals of education and we look forward to implementing them, not only for our kids, but for our grandchildren and following generations. If you contact us, we would love to add you to a list of people we will update about the progress of the school.

The Boomershine boys are enjoying life to the hilt. This fall they all took swim lessons and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We loved finding out more about their character through that six week process. We loved watching real hesitancy turn into hesitant, but real, courage. Ryan is reading The Chronicles of Narnia to the boys (they just started the last book); they are endearing themselves to the stories, characters and the lessons.

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Gene Veith in WORLD magazine…

“After building strong families, the surest tactic for winning the culture war is plain: Give your kids a better education than their secularist peers.”

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Some good ideas from Desiring God Ministries.

Here are 13 post-office-free ideas to get you started, most of which you could do right now from your desk:

  • Pray specific Scripture for them and their ministry, and then email it to them.
  • Call or email their parents—Christmas might be just as lonely for the ones at home as the ones away.
  • Purchase phone minutes for an international calling card through an online service like OneSuite and email them the account number.
  • Donate frequent flier miles to them.
  • Purchase an iTunes gift card for them. Have it sent to you and email them the account number.
  • Commit to pray for them on a specific day of the week for a year.
  • Write a song or poem or story for them. Email them the text and a recording of you reading or singing it.
  • Get friends and family together to create a holiday video greeting for them using Google Video or YouTube. Include lots of people you know they miss.
  • Make a year-end gift through their missions board or agency.
  • Western Union—the fastest way to send money.
  • Call their local florist (not everyone is in the jungle these days) and have flowers delivered, or their local Pizza Hut and have pizza delivered—with corn and shrimp as toppings!
  • Donate to a charity that means a lot to them.
  • Make a monthly commitment to support them financially.

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Television Tunes

…because you still can’t get the Silver Spoons theme music out of your head.  My favorite.

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How Would Jesus Call?

by Ken Myers for the Dallas Morning News

An article in the April issue of Wired magazine makes some frightening predictions about the dangers of three cutting-edge technologies. Though Wired is better known for treating the latest gadgets and high-tech systems either with irreverent glee or awe-filled reverence, this article, written by Bill Joy, cofounder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems (and thus a high priest among the digerati), sounds more apocalyptic than messianic. Joy warns that future developments in genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology (the development of microscopic machines) may pose a serious threat to human existence. All three technologies aim to create self-replicating mechanisms.

Joy’s article makes some very serious points that ought to be of particular concern to theologians and religious ethicists. Even if his most ominous fears prove to be as ill-founded as Y2K hysteria, his concern for attending to the unintended consequences of technology is instructive.

With few exceptions, religious people have not given enough thoughtful attention to the social and cultural consequences of emerging technologies. When technical devices are used for obviously immoral purposes (e.g., pornography on the Internet), Christians express concern. But church leaders and theologians give far too little attention to the subtle ways in which technologies reshape our lives and thereby re-configure our moral understanding of the world.

Technologies are usually developed to make a particular task more convenient, and convenience is valuable. But it is not the only valuable thing, and it is up to individuals and communities to determine when an increased level of convenience is actually a hindrance to other human values.

Cell phones, for example, make it easier for us to have immediate access to others and to remain perpetually accessible. But certainly there are times when cell phones should be turned off or left at home. Some restaurants now require guests to disable their cell phones while dining. This shows respect for the ambience of their dining rooms and honors the desire of other diners not to be forced into the role of eavesdropper.

I’d like to suggest that Christian people in particular give some attention to cell phone etiquette. A thoughtful set of manners regarding cell phones could be a small but significant way of reducing the sum total of dehumanizing behavior in American culture. Such manners could demonstrate the high value Christians place on embodiment, expressed in our doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Resurrection.

What could cell phones possibly have to do with the Incarnation? Both involve the significance of physical, embodied presence before others. The presence of another person before us is a kind of moral claim, asking for the recognition appropriate to a fellow human being. Likewise, when we make ourselves present to others, we are showing respect. Thus when we visit someone in the hospital or in prison (a situation Jesus alludes to in Matthew 25) instead of just phoning or sending flowers, we demonstrate by our presence a higher level of regard for their well-being.

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